As a business owner, being forward thinking is imperative to the continued success of your company. The end of 2015 is fast approaching, so in all likelihood you are already starting to consider the risks that are likely to face your business in 2016.
Based on our knowledge of the insurance market and its cycles, we have determined Global Warming, Bushfires, Cyber Crime and Management Liability claims as some of the main issues that will affect Australian businesses in the coming year.
Due to operating in one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change, companies across Australia should be aware of the effects that global warming may have on their operations in the coming years.
A new study released by civil engineers from the University of New South Wales has found that global warming is likely to lead to an increased risk of severe weather events in Australia; causing an increase in rainfall, as well as intensifying wind speeds of tropical cyclones. As the risk of natural catastrophe has never been greater, it’s more important than ever to protect your business with comprehensive insurance cover.
The Southern Australia Seasonal Outlook has predicted an above normal fire risk this summer as the El Nino cycle brings a hotter and drier 2016. The fire season’s severity and duration is likely to worsen across Australia as a result of warmer water temperatures in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Businesses in Victoria and Western Australia are likely to be most affected by this heightened bushfire risk, and should prepare accordingly with appropriate Property and Business Interruption insurance cover.
Cyber / Hacking
According to a defence force intelligence unit, cyber attacks on Australian businesses and government increased by 20 per cent in 2014. Ben Heyse, CBA’s Chief of Information Security recently warned that the number of attacks is likely to continue to increase into 2016, as the tools available for executing a cyber attack are becoming more widespread and more sophisticated.
The most commonly targeted sectors are banking and finance, resources and energy, retail and telecommunications, however every business that operates at least in part online is a target for cyber criminals. The risk of such an attack should not be ignored.
Management Liability Exposure
Increased regulation has heightened the operating risk for businesses across Australia, with more and more managers and business owners finding themselves exposed to Liability claims. These claims can arise from a number of circumstances such as:
- Shareholders (statutory derivative actions_
- Employees (claims of wrongful dismissal and sexual harassment)
- Statutory bodies such as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and WorkCover
- The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
- The Corporation itself (actions brought by a liquidator on behalf of the company alleging insolvent trading).
Instances of litigation are continuing to increase across all sectors of the Australian economy, and businesses and key staff are feeling the full affect. As these claims do not seem to be ceasing, Management Liability risk should be a consideration for is businesses operating across Australia.
If you have any queries about the above, or would like more information on emerging risks for 2016 feel free to contact us.
Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.
The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.